Cover Crops and Risk

Cover Crops and Risk

Large-scale ecosystem benefits tend to drive policy interest in cover crops. However, incorporating cover crops in a farm management plan will also require them to generate on-farm returns. To date, findings of their ability to generate profits have been mixed with...

Drought is Sending More Cows to Market

Drought is Sending More Cows to Market

The July Cattle Inventory report confirmed another year of herd liquidation. July beef cow inventory totaled 30.4 million, down 2 percent from the previous year. It also appears that very few are looking to expand their herds with replacement heifers down 3.5 percent....

Profitability of Cover Crops

Profitability of Cover Crops

Research into cover cropping has shown some benefits to soil health and conservation. However, adoption of cover cropping has been relatively low due in part to uncertainty about its profitability. When considering whether to adopt this practice it is important to...

More Volatile Cotton Prices

More Volatile Cotton Prices

Since mid-May, ICE cotton futures have witnessed an historic short-term collapse (see this article https://southernagtoday.org/2022/07/what-is-behind-the-recent-cotton-futures-market-plunge/ ).  In the two-month period between May 16 and July 14,...

Sysco Becomes Latest Beef Packer Antitrust Claimant

Sysco Becomes Latest Beef Packer Antitrust Claimant

In 2019, a series of class-action lawsuits were filed against JBS, National Beef Packing, Tyson, and Cargill, commonly known as “The Big Four” packers on behalf of direct purchasers, producers, and indirect purchasers as separate classes seeking class certification....

Cattle and COF Reports

Cattle and COF Reports

USDA released two cattle reports on Friday July 22nd – the Cattle on Feed and Cattle Inventory reports. Taken together, these reports paint a picture of a smaller cowherd and some future opportunities as supplies continue to tighten. Cattle on Feed Placements,...

U.S. Sugar Policy and Prices

U.S. Sugar Policy and Prices

The price of domestic raw cane sugar and the price of refined beet sugar both have direct implications for current United States (U.S.) sugar policy. Nearby futures settlement prices for raw cane sugar and a price range for wholesale Midwest refined beet sugar (free...

Fixtures and Farm Leases

Fixtures and Farm Leases

Farm tenants often make improvements to the farm they are leasing. Building or repairing sheds or barns are an example, as is a tenant purchasing and installing irrigation equipment. However, before doing so, tenants should consider the legal status of these...

An Initial Look at Forced Base Update on the South

An Initial Look at Forced Base Update on the South

One of the questions policy economists get the most from farmers is how likely is it that they will get to update their base acres in the hopes of finally converting their non-base acres into base.  For example, there is a significant amount of cotton...

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Proposition 12 Case

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Proposition 12 Case

In the past 15 years, several states have passed laws regarding the amount of space that specific types of farm animals- pregnant sows, veal calves and laying hens- must be given.  The constitutionality of one of these laws, passed as a ballot proposal in...

Careful on the Curves

Careful on the Curves

Interest rates and inflation are closely linked phenomena.  As we discussed last week, expectations about inflation can provide insights to the direction of our overall economy.  The yield curve is another place where the market interest rates reveal a sense of what...

Falling Corn Prices and Cost of Gain

Falling Corn Prices and Cost of Gain

Cattle producers should see a bit of relief from high feed expenses over the next few months. The CME DEC ’22 Corn contract has fallen from a contract high of $7.64/bu. on May 16 to $6.23/bu. Some other commodities used in feed rations, such as distiller’s grains,...

The Trillion Dollar “Farm” Bill

The Trillion Dollar “Farm” Bill

In May 2022, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its latest 10-year budget projections for a number of Federal programs, including farm-related programs and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  While CBO typically updates its...